An often overlooked strategy to ensure sustainment of a 5S program is high performing supervisors. These folks are on the front lines and need to be prepared to hold their staff accountable when they don't follow the program. Find below some tips from Steve Lage at PDG.
We wrote the feature to help people understand how important supervisors are in achieving and sustaining improvement. This is something most organizations just don't get, and the impact is staggering.
High performing supervisors are leaders that run their departments like business owners.
  • They set goals and measure performance
  • They take swift and effective action when goals aren't met
  • They facilitate problem-solving teams
  • They coach and mentor employees and peers
  • They hold people accountable for performance and behavior
  • They build high performing teams
  • They engage employees through shared decision-making
  • They continuously improve productivity, quality, delivery, and safety performance
Unfortunately, most supervisors and leads don't match this description. In fact, what is more common is to find these critical people firefighting, reacting to the most urgent issue with little control over how they spend their time. We call this the addiction to the heroic recovery.
While we always want people to be willing to go the extra mile, supervisors who spend all of their time on defense aren't able to move their departments forward and continuously improve performance. At best, they maintain the status quo

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